Banjo or Freakout

Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
Buy On
  1. Feb 22, 2011
    80
    A top-heavy track-listing does the album's more abstract curios no favours, and some will find it too much to take in in one sitting. But for me, headphones donned and lights extinguished, each submersion is every bit as worthy as the last.
  2. Feb 22, 2011
    80
    A dizzyingly ferocious support slot on the recent Gold Panda tour proved that London-based producer/remixer Alessio Natalizia's one-time bedroom project is now fully-formed.
  3. Feb 23, 2011
    70
    He definitely deserves credit for going beyond the usual sounds you might hear on a modern singer/songwriter album and it works often enough to make the record a treat for anyone who wants something confessional and real but not boring.
  4. 70
    Banjo Or Freakout effortlessly mates electronic distortions, low-end theory and achingly gorgeous pop melody – with emphasis very much on the latter.
  5. 60
    The album's strengths indeed grow on you with time, but his failure to capture these strengths as a whole is what denies it stature among other bedroom recordings.
  6. Mar 1, 2011
    60
    He has talent, he's capable, and he's got a future - there are occasional flashes of creativity-stuffed aptitude - but this time around they're merely flashes.
  7. Uncut
    Feb 25, 2011
    60
    His long awaited debut sees him adding endless waves of muzzy kosmische, softly burred guitar loops, Fripp-like trippiness and heavy psych/space-rock grooves to his arsenal. [Mar 2011, p.83]
  8. Feb 22, 2011
    60
    Musically, there are obvious reference points in the likes of 1990s shoegaze, Brian Eno ambience and Can-like grooves, but his atmospheres are darker and unfathomable.
  9. Feb 22, 2011
    56
    Natalizia recorded Banjo or Freakout with Nic Vernhes at the Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, and Vernhes' naturalistic production style deepens the expanses in Natalizia's sound while maintaining its clean lines and immersive chill.
  10. Apr 15, 2011
    50
    Yup, Banjo or Freakout is definitely best enjoyed at night or stoned, or both.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jul 17, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Absolutely LOVE this album. I think because of the production it needs a few listens to be fully understood. It's just lovely. To me these songs sound like some little small pop songs hidden underneath layers of noise. Just love it! Full Review »
  2. Feb 23, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I was very disappointed with the pitchfork review. It talks about the album like an ambient one and I think that's completely wrong. I also found weird the fact that the reviewer mentioned Panda Bear and Atlas Sound as inspiration points but didn't mention Spacemen 3, Can and Arthur Russell which to me seem closer to what Banjo Or Freakout are doing. There are obvious reference points but the sense of melody and exploration are all Banjo Or Freakout. I'll give it a 10! Full Review »